The Verdehr Trio, consisting of violinist Walter Verdehr, clarinetist Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and pianist Silvia Roederer, is responsible for almost single-handedly building a substantial body of work for an ensemble that, before them, barely existed. This CD is something of an anomaly in the group's output since it contains a piece that the Trio neither commissioned nor arranged: the Milhaud Suite for violin, clarinet, and piano. Along with Poulenc's suite from L'invitation au chateau, it shows off the easy cosmopolitan charm of Les Six. Philippe Manoury's Michigan Trio and Betsy Jolas' Trio sopra et sola Facta inhabit an entirely different musical universe. Manoury and Jolas create mysterious, evocative soundscapes using disjunct instrumental lines, spare and unconventional sonorities, spiky harmonies, and extended instrumental techniques. The Trio reaches back to the nineteenth century with arrangements of a Tarantella Saint-Saëns originally wrote for clarinet, flute, and orchestra, and a trio by Matthieu-Fréderic Blasius, originally for clarinet, flute, and cello or bassoon. The Verdehr Trio is at much at home in the elegance and reserve of the Classical era as it is in Manoury's jagged modernism, bringing its formidable technique and musicality to every piece with the same fervor. Dux's sound quality is clean and deep.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Suite, for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 157b|
|Trio Dialogues, Op. 31 No. 1|
|L' invitation au château, incidental music, FP 138|